“Paradise with a Serpent:” An Interview with Carlos Eire

Bernardo Aparicio García and Katy Carl

Carlos Eire is now a distinguished history professor at Yale University, but in 1959 he was an eight-year-old boy living in Havana who went by the name of Carlos Nieto. His 2003 memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, winner of the National Book Award, tells the story of that transformation. I first heard of Eire shortly after graduating from college in 2005, when I was thinking of pursuing graduate studies in history. At that time I was intrigued by the title of his memoir—it reminded me of my own snow-deprived childhood in Colombia. I almost picked up the book a year or two later when it was chosen as the featured title for the One Book, One Philadelphia reading project, but other work and other reading prevented me from getting around to it until this spring. [Read more…]


Nick Ripatrazone

wet stalks of wheat lean
against mottled burgundy paint:
a dappled barn, batten winking
with each shift of cloud.

rain-filled gutters rupture
like stretched bladders
and the barn soaks. [Read more…]

De virtute cannibalismi

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

For Reverend Bruno Mary Shah, O.P.
Ordained to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ
May 29, 2009

Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni:
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

“Setting aside the moral question for a moment . . .”

“What do you mean setting it aside?”

“ . . . we can be as lucid as the Master from Aquino.”

“Is lucidity the primary virtue in such a question? I ask myself!”

“For me, lucidity is greatly facilitated by a rested mind and a full stomach.” [Read more…]

Harry Ploughman

Nick Ripatrazone

After Gerard Manley Hopkins

With a fountain’s shining shot furls,

palm and heel of hand flit, muscle-
	skin fraps, fanted speed;
	erumpent swing, and here
	arm falcated;
	feet-base edaphic, each bend
	a camber: wait, carmine 
	and cerise: wait, what breath
	of body becomes chaff, skin,
	abraded toward soil-on-bone.

Restoring the Fresco of Progress

Wilfred M. McClay

We have become uneasy with the very concept of progress. We are not prepared to give it up entirely; that would be nearly inconceivable. Peel away the ironic surface of even the most insouciant postmodern pose, and you find revealed, startling as a ghost, some brightly colored and long-forgotten fresco, a gaudy metanarrative of progress still silently at work, shaping our choices of ends and means and norms. There are many such hidden frescoes still at work today. The West is still remarkably committed to the idea of purposive action, and resistant to the lure of fatalism, perhaps because rebellion against the binding power of necessity forms the very core of Western identity. [Read more…]

SS. Peter and Paul 2009


Restoring the Fresco of Progress  Wilfrid M. McClay


What is Art? Part 1 of “On the Vocation of the Christian Artist”  Eileen Cunis


The Funeral  Dena Hunt

De virtute cannibalismi  Eleanor Bourg Donlon

The Ninth Floor  Tony France


Excelsior Unincorporated  Joseph O’Brien

Illinois Farmers  Michael Lee Johnson

Rod Stroked Survival with a Deadly Hammer  Michael Lee Johnson

Praise Song on a Summer Night  Mary Ann Honaker

Cambridge Commons  Mary Ann Honaker

The Sight  Mary Ann Honaker

Incarnation (corrected)  Kate Bluett

to remember october  Rachel Kondro

Beads  John Savoie

Habenera  Andrew Thornton-Norris

Gethsemane  Mark Amorose

Confessions  Nick Ripatrazone

Harry Ploughman  Nick Ripatrazone

Roman April  Meredith Wise


“Paradise with a Serpent”: An Interview with Carlos Eire  Bernardo Aparicio García and Katy Carl

Art and Prose

Wisconsin Baroque, Priests, and Paper Architecture  Matthew Alderman

Art and Photography

Cora  James Dean Erickson

Seven  James Dean Erickson

Fast Eddie  James Dean Erickson

Jimmy Wood  James Dean Erickson